Earth Science Week Update November 2019

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 17, No. 11: November 2019


Earth Science Week 2019 a Spectacular Success

While exact figures are still being tallied, it is estimated that more than 50 million people again gained a new awareness of the geosciences through the 22nd annual Earth Science Week last month. The event celebrated the theme "Geoscience Is for Everyone" by emphasizing both the inclusive potential and the importance of the geosciences in the lives of all people. New program offerings marked the special anniversary.

Events ranged from students conducting classroom science projects to activities at science centers and museums on special Focus Days during the week. Geoscience for Everyone Day enabled geoscientists to share the excitement of their careers with communities underrepresented in the field. And the eighth annual Geologic Map Day engaged students in learning about the vital uses of geologic maps.

A major focus of Earth Science Week was the 10th annual National Fossil Day. AGI joined the National Park Service in celebrating at Grand Canyon National Park. AGI educated and entertained visitors with a greenscreen-equipped "Paleontology Play Space" photo booth, funded by the Paleontological Society. Attendees got their pictures taken virtually in the jaws of dinosaur skeleton fossils and other fantastic paleontological settings.

If you conducted a special activity to celebrate Earth Science Week, please let us know. Your activity can be featured in the Earth Science Week 2019 Highlights Report, which will be posted online and used to help secure support for the program in the future. Email information, news clips, and images to

Earth Science Week Contest Winners Announced

Elizabeth Xu of Sugar Hill, Georgia, won first place in the visual arts contest with a creative and colorful drawing of a young person discovering the natural world. Finalists were Emre Anderson, Ares Bandebo-Cambra, Emily Oglesby, and Justin Xu. Students in grades K-5 made two-dimensional artworks illustrating the theme "Earth Science and Me."

Tonya Boone of Williamsburg, Virginia, won first place in the photo contest with an image of her family hiking the Solheimajokull glacier in Iceland. Finalists were Kristen Carpio, Erika Komp, Sophia Lissin, and Yiwen Zhou. Submissions illustrated the theme "Exploring Earth Science."

Vedika Amin of Mumbai, Maharashtra, won first place in the essay contest with a paper on "Why Earth Science Is for Everyone." Finalists were Hope Gantt, Ghena Kubba, Evelyn Rousseau, and Amanda Von St. Paul. Students in grades six through nine wrote essays of up to 300 words addressing why it is important for Earth science to be accessible, inclusive, diverse, and equitable.

Anish Aradhey won first place in the video contest with an animation and song on "Earth Science Unity: Why Earth Science is for Everyone." Finalists were Brooke Laine, and the team of Elyas Masrour and Abdullah Nauman. Individuals and teams created brief, original videos telling viewers how people of various backgrounds contribute to make Earth science happen through "Many Paths to Earth Science."

Congratulations to the winners, finalists, and hundreds of students and others who entered. Each first-place winner receives $300 and an AGI publication. Entries submitted by winners and finalists are posted online.

Teacher Fellowship Targets Geographic Educators

Applications are open for the 2020 Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship program organized by Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic Society. This program recognizes pre-K-12 classroom teachers and informal educators who show dedication to geographic education.

The fellowship takes educators, in groups of two or three, aboard the Lindblad Expeditions fleet on expeditions ranging from six to 19 days to locations worldwide. Fellows are expected to be engaged over the course of the expedition year and the year following in activities such as serving as ambassadors of the Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship in professional settings.

The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern, December 10, 2019. For more information, please see the program website.

Check Out Center for Geoscience & Society

AGI's Center for Geoscience & Society aims to enhance geoscience awareness by generating new approaches to building geoscience knowledge, engaging a wide range of stakeholders, and creatively promoting resources and programs. Explore the website's two main components:

  • Education GeoSource offers access to geoscience resources from a variety of providers. The goal is to provide visitors with the widest possible collection of curricula, classroom activities, teacher professional development opportunities, science education standards, virtual field trips, teaching ancillaries and much more.
  • The Critical Issues Program provides a portal to decision-relevant, impartial geoscience information. By aggregating material from multiple organizations in one place, the Critical Issues website makes it easier for users to find comprehensive information from across the geosciences. Critical Issues features easy-to-digest peer-reviewed summaries, answers to common questions, and links to more detailed resources.

National Parks' Web Rangers Explore Geoscience

The National Park Service, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, wants you to become a Web Ranger! The interactive Web Ranger program helps people of all ages learn about the national parks. For example, enter White Sands National Monument in New Mexico from your desktop and identify animal tracks left in the 275 square miles of gypsum dunes that give the park its name.

"Rock Around the Park," another geoscience activity for Web Rangers, shows how erosion has shaped the landscapes of national parks such as Arches National Park in Utah and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Or you can explore over 220 national parks with fossils, including dinosaur fossils, including ones in your area. Learn about what dinosaurs munched on millions of years ago in "Dino Diets."

Find all this and more on the Web Rangers site. Play more than 50 games, invent a Web Ranger name, create a personalized ranger badge, and start learning about Earth science in the national parks online today!

Earth Science Week Posting on Twitter

For all kinds of geoscience news, resources, and opportunities, follow Earth Science Week on Twitter! To sign up for instant updates from Earth Science Week, please log-in to your Twitter account and follow us on @earthsciweek.

If you don't have a Twitter account, you can sign up online. All you need is your name and email address to get started!

AGI's Workforce Program Illuminates Geoscience

AGI, organizer of Earth Science Week, operates a Workforce Program that collects and publishes geoscience workforce data, supports students focusing on the geosciences, supports university-level geoscience departments, and offers geoscience career information.

AGI collects data about the human resources of the U.S. geoscience community. The central component of this effort is the Directory of Geoscience Departments publication, now in its 50th edition. Gathering data on the supply and demand of geoscientists, AGI works with organizations and agencies to ensure that the health of the profession is understood.

Outreach efforts not only help students make a well-informed decision about studying the geosciences, but also recruit top quality students to the geosciences as well as prepare current students for entering the geoscience workforce.

The Workforce Program supports academic geoscience departments by providing critical data on enrollments and degrees, comprehensive information about faculty, and collaborating with AGI member societies to host webinars on critical issues for department chairs.

AGI also provides information on careers in the geosciences for the public, educators, and interested students. Find out more online.

Cool Online Resource Available from NASA

NASA has a new online science resource for teachers and students to help bring Earth, the solar system, and the universe into their schools and homes. Called NASA Wavelength, the site features hundreds of resources organized by topic and audience level from elementary to college, and out-of-school programs that span the extent of NASA science.

Educators at all levels can find educational resources through information on standards, subjects, keywords, and other details, such as learning time required to carry out a lesson or an activity, cost of materials and more.

Teachers can identify resources relevant to specific themes and current events, such as lessons dealing with NASA's Curiosity rover or using Earth science resources. Visit online for access to NASA Wavelength. Learn more about education programs at NASA STEM Engagement.

Answering the Question: Why Earth Science?

AGI's "Why Earth Science?" virtual brochure promotes awareness of the importance of Earth science in K-12 education. In clear, concise language, this publication explains to students why they should study this significant discipline.

The virtual brochure is offered in both English and Spanish. If you're a science teacher or guidance counselor who would like to share this publication with students, go online now.

"Why Earth Science?" explains the importance of Earth science education for success in school, careers, informed decision-making, and civic engagement. To view or download the virtual brochure, visit AGI's Educational Resources.

MOSAiC Mondays: Connect to Arctic Expedition

Are you an educator who wants to connect your classroom to one of the most extensive Arctic research expeditions ever conducted? From September 2019 through October 2020, more than 500 scientists from over 19 nations will be spending a year in the Arctic ice to collect important data on the Arctic climate system.

Connect your students with the MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) expedition and bring real science into your classroom through MOSAiC Monday. Your students can track the expedition in real time on a map, graph Arctic oceanographic data from the ship, watch video interviews with scientists and crewmembers, and engage in short Arctic-related engagements that support your Next Generation Science Standards curriculum.

Visit or sign up to receive email reminders in your inbox every Monday.

Earth Science Week Toolkit a Great Holiday Gift

Looking for a gift for an Earth science teacher or geoscientist friend? This year's Earth Science Week Toolkit is all sold out - but you can still order copies of the Earth Science Week 2018 Toolkit containing dozens of materials that can be used all through the year!

Focusing on the theme "Earth as Inspiration," the Earth Science Week 2018 Toolkit includes:

  • Activity booklet featuring 12 Earth science classroom activities
  • New Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
  • NASA materials on school resources and planetary exploration
  • National Park Service posters on caves, plants, and geology
  • Geologic Map Day poster dealing with artistic inspiration
  • Mineral Education Coalition "Quarry to Crop" postcard
  • IRIS material on seismology and earthquakes
  • AmericaView poster on exploring America through LandSat
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute poster on global change
  • UNAVCO materials on Geodesy and websites to explore
  • Fact sheet from Critical Zones Observatories
  • Switch Energy Project information on energy science
  • Bureau of Land Management dinosaur coloring page
  • Material on Constructing the Rock Cycle from GSA
  • Water Footprint Calculator information on water science
  • EarthScope material on what it means to be an Earth scientist
  • CLEAN, AMS, TERC, and GPS information and more

Copies of the toolkit are free and available for the cost of shipping and handling ($8.50 for the first kit, $2.25 for each additional kit in the United States). For ordering, special shipping, bulk orders, and more, visit Earth Science Week or phone AGI Publications at 703-379-2480.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment. For contact information, please visit online. To subscribe to this newsletter, visit online and submit your email address.